My First Shopping Experience in Sweden

14:15 Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today, I went to the grocery store to get some food so I don’t starve (I haven’t eaten much this week because I’ve been trying to adjust to so many other things at the same time that I would usually forget to eat, or just not realize what time it is).  I was planning on going to a German grocery store called LIDL, which is two T-bana rides away.  However, when I got to the central station and was looking for the second line to get on, I found a grocery store that is underneath T-Centralen that I went to instead – a Swedish grocery store called Hemköp.  For the most part, it was a pretty familiar type of grocery store, but here are a few things that I learned:

  • Everything is in Swedish!  Actually, I knew this already.  Fortunately, I was prepared and I knew what I was looking for: ägg, smör, ost, salsasås, and, tortillas (I was making egg tacos, by the way)
  • The metric system also applies to eggs – I couldn’t find a dozen of eggs, only 10
  • Swedish shopping carts look like strange wagons that you pull behind you
  • The cheese section occupied two aisles, but it was mostly in chunks or wheels – there was only one bag of shredded cheese, and it was called Tex-Mex cheese Tire la langue
  • Swedes must love chocolate, because there was chocolate in practically every aisle
  • Swedes must also love freshly cut meat and seafood, because I’ve never seen such long lines for that before
  • The “American” aisle (marked by two large American flags) consisted of five items: pancake mix, maple syrup, microwave popcorn, barbeque sauce, and a whole shelf of marshmallows.  Wowwwww, I felt right at home! D:
  • Swedish candy is…interesting…

When I got to the candy aisle, I had to get some because I’ve never seen any candy like this before.  Apparently, Sweden is one of the countries that eats the most candy per capita in the world (even more than the United States), and their favorite candy is the loose kind that is in bins along a wall that you scoop into a bag.  So I got some.


A small selection of Swedish candy

  • The red ones are called “hot lips,” and they looked similar to Swedish fish, which I love.  However, it turns out they don’t actually taste like Swedish fish. :/
  • The chocolate things are filled with something that tastes bizarre.  It was good, but strange.
  • The spiral licorice and the non-coated licorices were good.
  • The coated licorices in the bottom right: possibly the most disgusting candy I have ever eaten.  They were extremely salty and bitter, and I had to drink an entire bottle of water afterward to get rid of the taste.

About Aaron

Hej – I'm Aaron! When I'm not working my regular job, I love to travel, study languages (svenska anyone?), and learn about history and culture. I'm also a "pandemic cook" attempting to learn the secrets of Indian cuisine from my apartment in Texas!
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8 Responses to My First Shopping Experience in Sweden

  1. Mickey Braden says:

    Hi Aaron,
    Enjoyed your posts. I had no idea things in Sweden were quite so different from the US. It sure looks cold there. We are having cold temps here in FW, about 20 deg F at night–too cold for me. Your Mom spent Thursday night with us and told us you are going skiing soon–that should be fun.
    Grandpa B

  2. gabrielle says:

    ahahahh pancakes(: perfect. but yay for swedish candy that’s disgusting. good luck with that kiddo. maybe i’ll send ya some swedish fish if you’re a good boy

  3. Dad says:

    Sounds like you need to teach Sweden about American food! BBQ sauce and marshmallows?!!

  4. Aunt Janet says:

    No kidding, Guy! That’s what they think American food is? Microwave popcorn?! I like the “metric system applies to eggs” comment. Haha.

  5. Tastes bizarre?! Aaron, punchpraliner is heaven! LOL

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